By Lola Omowaye
In order to prevent food scarcity in the country in the next couple of years, the federal government have been called upon to invest in agriculture rather than relying on importation of food items.
The Head of Department, Food Science and Technology, Prof.Tunde Oluwalana made the call in a chat with The Hope in his office at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) while addressing issues of food production, processing and preservation.
Oluwalana opined that any nation spending its funds on importation of food items is tending towards scarcity and will continue to impoverish it’s populace.
“If the government does not do something about agriculture and continue the same way we are doing it , there is impending danger of hunger in this country because Nigerians are procreating at an alarming rate.
“No government has accurate information about the birth rate in this country,and every resource, we are getting are pumped into food importation”.
The don said the government should formulate good policies that can be implemented to boost agriculture and capable of attracting the teeming youths into agriculture.
He said the government could generate enough jobs through agriculture if necessary provisions such as availability of lands, access to funds at one unit interest rate with needed equipment and materials are made available.
He opined that the agriculture syllabus should be rejigged to be attractive starting from the primary to the tertiary level.
“The level of agricultural wastage is over 40 per cent, the way to curb this is that government should change their approach towards agriculture by encouraging the youths to take up agriculture right from the secondary school”
According to him, agriculture determines the direction of technology in any developed society, and therefore enjoined the government to develop the agricultural base of the country.
Oluwalana said Nigerians need orientation and a change of mindset to know that hard work pays and shun laziness that can easily lead to corruption.
He therefore called on scientists and technologists to collaborate with each other to strategise and find solution to Nigeria’s challenges.